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Cal Track & Field: Golden Bears Sending 12 Athletes to the NCAA Championships

Two more individuals and a relay team joined the travel party on Saturday.

Cal qualified two more individuals and a relay team to the NCAA Track and Field Championships on the last of four days at the NCAA West preliminary meet at Fayetteville, Arkansas on Saturday.

The Bears have qualified 12 athletes to run at the NCAA nationals, June 8-11 at Eugene, Oregon. A year ago, Cal was represented by just two athletes at the meet.

Senior Ezinne Abba ran a wind-aided 10.95 seconds in the 100 meters — her fastest all-conditions mark — to finish second in her heat, fifth overall. The top 12 finishers at the West and East qualifying meets advance to the June 8-11 NCAA nationals in Eugene, Oregon.

Ezinne, whose wind-legal school record is 11.12, is the first Cal woman in 13 years to qualify to the NCAA nationals.

Abba also joined teammates Jada Hicks, Maisie Stevens and Aysha Shaheed in the 4x100 relay to post a qualifying time of 44.03 — just off their season best. The foursome finished third in their heat to gain automatic qualifying status and was seventh overall.

The Bears haven't sent a women's 4x100 relay team to the NCAA nationals since 2010.

Abba was expected to also advance in the 200 but withdrew from the race after suffering an undisclosed injury in the 100 that the coaching staff didn’t believe to be serious, according to an athletic department spokesperson.

Finally, sophomore triple jumper Busola Akinduro grabbed the final qualifying spot by finishing 12th with a wind-aided mark of 43 feet, 4 1/2 inches (13.22 meters).

Cal will send a total of 12 athletes to the NCAA nationals -- its highest total since qualifying 12 back in 2010. Here the Bears headed to Eugene and their finish at the qualifying meet this week:

- Camryn Rogers, 1st, women’s hammer

- Mykolas Alekna, 1st, men’s discus

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- Josh Johnson, 3rd, men’s shot put

- Iffy Joyner, 3rd, men’s discus

- Anna Purchase, 3rd, women’s hammer

- Ezinne Abba, 7th, women’s 100 meters

- Jada Hicks, Abba, Maisie Stevens and Aysha Shaheed, 7th, women’s 4x100 relay

- Ivar Moisander, 9th, men’s hammer

- Busola Akinduro, 12th, women’s triple jump

- Hakim McMorris, decathlon

Multi-event athletes such as McMorris did not qualify through the regional prelim meets but based on their season-best point totals.

Other Cal athletes who competed Saturday but did not qualify for the nationals: Jasmine Blair was 13th in the women’s discus at 187-10 (57.26) Amelia Flynt was 29th in the women’s discus at 164-1 (50.03), Hawaii Wague was 37th in the women’s high jump at 5-7 1/4 (1.71), Felicia Renelus was 17th in the women’s triple jump at 42-8 1/4 (13.01w), Asha Fletcher was 22nd in the women’s triple jump at 42-2 3/4 (12.87) and Erin Archibeck was 30th in 5,000 meters at 16:47.84.

Cover photo of Cal's 4x100 relay team by Ronnye Harrison

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo